(Reuters) – Focus on ice hockey at the 2022 Beijing Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
* Teams may field up to six players at a time – typically five skaters and one goalie – competing on the ice for three 20-minute periods.
* Points are scored by shooting the puck into the net.
* If the teams are tied at the end of three periods in a medal round the game goes into overtime, with a shootout after that to decide the outcome.
HOW MANY MEDALS?
There are two gold medals up for grabs, one for the men’s competition and one for the women’s.
WHAT HAPPENED IN PYEONGCHANG?
Canada’s run of four straight golds in the women’s tournament ended as rivals the United States secured a 3-2 shootout win.
In the men’s tournament, Germany handed top seeds Sweden a humiliating defeat in the quarter-finals but came up short in the gold medal match. Russia, competing as neutral athletes, beat the Germans 4-3 in overtime, defying a ban to sing their national anthem during the medal ceremony.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN BEIJING?
With the National Hockey League (NHL) having pulled its players out of the Games, the men’s teams will feature a medley of players from European leagues, collegiate programs and elsewhere.
Canada’s women’s captain Marie-Philip Poulin will feature in her fourth Games alongside 10 rookies, as the world champions aim to wrest the gold back from the U.S.
China’s men’s team will feature in their first Olympics despite initial concerns over their readiness to compete, while organisers have expanded the women’s tournament from eight to 10 teams.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
Feb. 3 to 20.
WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?
The action will take place at two former 2008 Summer Olympic venues in Beijing: the National Indoor Stadium and the Wukesong Sports Centre.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The beloved winter sport made its Olympic debut at the 1920 Summer Games before a permanent spot in the Winter programme beginning in 1924. The women’s tournament was added in 1998.
WELL FANCY THAT
Considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history, the United States’ “Miracle on Ice” win over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Games was immortalised in the 2004 Kurt Russell film “Miracle.”
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)